The weekend read: TOPCon boosts demand for EU equipment

Photovoltaic manufacturers in Asia are importing deposition reactors from the EU to test the latest word in silicon solar cell passivation. Two thin buffer layers sandwiched between silicon wafers and metal contacts are increasing the efficiency of conventional solar cells and setting new records. Equipment suppliers expect the technology to spread through the industry and boost their bottom line.

A new solar powered #2 rises, and it looks to keep growing

Con Edison states that it has become the number two solar power generator in North America with the finalization of its Sempra purchase which included 980 MWac of operating solar.

UK: A hard Brexit would add millions to consumer electricity bills

All round, it has been an interesting week for the U.K. to say the least, and the energy sector was no exception. In addition to the country’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainable Energy (PRASEG) organizing a debate on the Capacity Market; a forum in London discussed grid operator’s flexibility; and a new report was released claiming a hard Brexit would add millions to consumer electricity bills.

Voltalia bags EPC, O&M contract for 40 MW PV project in Kenya

The services will be provided for Alten Africa. The IPP says the project is its first utility-scale system in Kenya. The country has recently presented its universal electrification strategy, which places emphasis on solar PV generation.

Scatec Solar reaches financial close on 47 MW Ukranian solar project

Scatec Solar ASA, in partnership with the Rengy Development Group, has closed financing on its 47 MW solar PV project in the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine.

SolarPower Europe’s Watson: ‘I will never speak out against renewables’

It was EPIA when he joined, and the European and global solar industry was a very different place. Outgoing CEO of what is now SolarPower Europe, James Watson has presided over a transformative period at the organisation, and departs to head up Eurogas right at the point the region’s solar sector is set for revival. Advancing a power-to-gas agenda, Watson says, will be a big part of his new challenge.

Australia’s NSW gives two large-scale solar farms go-ahead

After approving a major solar+storage project at Darlington Point this week, Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning and Environment has just greenlit two more utility-scale solar PV projects: The 170 MW Suntop Solar Farm and the 47 MW Gregadoo Solar Farm.

The ‘solar module cartel’ avoiding EU minimum import tariffs

Six lawsuits have been filed against Sunowe employees accused of evading €20 million of European anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs. The case, now dubbed the “Solar module Cartel”, also involved the deputy district administrator of Erlangen-Höchstadt.

CREO 2018: A new era in the Chinese energy transition

A new era in the Chinese energy transition is on the menu and renewables are the order of the day, according to the latest China Renewable Energy Outlook (CREO). China will not require a gas bridge between coal and renewables, it finds, adding that renewables will become the core of the nation’s energy system by 2050, with annual PV installs of between 80-160 GW possible. Not only that, but electricity supply could be cheaper in this future than it is today.

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Meyer Burger picks up 600 MW heterojunction equipment order

Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger has received a CHF 74 million (US$74.4 million) order for a 600 MW production line combining heterojunction and smart wire technologies. The order was placed by an unnamed manufacturer, with the line expected to begin cell and module production in the second half of 2019.